Miami Herald photographer Patrick Farrell won the Pulitzer Prize today for the horrific and harrowing images he captured in Haiti during the devastation wrought last year from hurricanes. I've never agreed more with a prize, since Farrell's photographs crush your heart to look at them. Click here to see them. Interestingly, the photos caused controversy in the Herald newsroom after Hurricane Ike, which I reported on at the time. Anyway, here's a bit about Farrell that you need to read from the Herald story by Andres Viglucci:
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Farrell, a Miami native, has been a Herald staff photographer since 1987. He's a member of the class of 1977 at Christopher Columbus High, a Miami Catholic school, where he ran cross country and shot photos for the school yearbook. He graduated in 1981 with a bachelor of arts degree in television and film production from the University of Miami.
Farrell grew up in the High Pines neighborhood of unincorporated Miami-Dade County near South Miami, the seventh of 12 children born to Dr. James and Peggie Farrell.
Farrell says he owes his discovery of photography to an eye injury he suffered when he was shot in the right eye by a BB gun pellet while he was trick-or-treating on Halloween 1971. He spent a week with both eyes bandaged shut at Larkin General Hospital in South Miami.
His view of the world changed after his bandages were removed, and he began to pay more attention to the details and light around him, Farrell says. As a result of the eye injury, Farrell is a ''left-eye shooter'' and holds the camera up to his left eye. (Most people naturally shoot with their right eye.)